Wolves are social animals and occasionally a lone wolf will break off from a pack to join another pack or form their own. Unlike wolves, Jon Suckling and Paul Brioux didn’t stray from their original pack; they just formed another one within it.
Blacktoe Running is a local running store in Toronto owned and operated by Mike and Maya Anderson. Not only do they sell the latest and greatest products, they also do a lot of great work in the running community; giving back to the athletes who make this amazing community. Back Toe Running also offers a run club with a coached program suitable for both beginners and experienced runners. This is where Jon and Paul met; the two were grouped together with other runners who ran similar paces and soon discovered they had similar interests. Very quickly, the pack would expand with the addition of Kyle Stolys, Dan Baggaley, and Alex Desroches. The group of friends wanted to connect with the running community in different ways, while continuing to run with the Black toe Run Club, so they established the Toronto Wolfpack Run Club.
In their relatively short existence, the Wolfpack is leaving their mark (pun intended) in the running community through their hilarious instagram account, their dominating results in virtual races, and time trials and, just like wolves, this group of friends show how collaboration, sharing knowledge, and their special bond can bring out the best in themselves and each other.
To learn more about Jon, you can follow her on Instagram at: @jon.suckling
To learn more about Paul, you can follow her on Instagram at: @mrpaulbrioux
To learn more about Wolfpack Run Club, you can follow her on Instagram at: @wolfpackto
This week on the pod, we’re chatting with Dr. Meghan Hughes and Danielle O’Hanley, two members of The High Park Rogue Runners Executive Team. Both Meghan and Danielle found themselves at the High Park Running Room for different reasons, but ultimately they would meet Colin Murray-Lawson, a coach at that location. When Meghan qualified for the Boston Marathon, she wanted to find a group of runners who could train with her, so Colin and Meghan created the High Park Rogue Runners.
Today, the High Park Rogue Runners have over 60 runners on custom plans and countless others who drop-in on a weekly basis (pre-pandemic, of course!). Their unique approach to training is the secret to their success. In lieu of coaching fees, the executive team asks their runners to support the community through volunteerism, gifts in kind, gear donations, and monetary donations. It’s a concept they coined the “energy exchange” and the outcome is an inclusive space where runners exhibit the values and standards modelled by the executive team.
To learn more about Meghan, you can follow her on Instagram at: @meghug17
To learn more about Danielle, you can follow her on Instagram at: @dohanley
To learn more about High Park Rogue Runners, you can follow them on Instagram at: @roguerunners
“I’ve traveled all over the world to race in big events and sometimes it comes down to those simple things that motivate you and push you to be your best and create those memories and how I can be that to my daughter and other girls. Those things excite me and motivate me.” – Krista DuChene
Krista DuChene is one of Canada’s most decorated marathon runners with an impressive list of accomplishments that started back in 2010 when she first became the National Marathon Champion. In 2012, Krista and teammate Lanni Marchant both ran faster than the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Olympic standard in Rotterdam; however, neither athlete met the Canadian standard. While both athletes appealed, the decision to not send them to the 2012 Olympics in London was upheld. The experience fueled Krista to return to Rotterdam three years later where she improved her time and punched her ticket to the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Two years later, Krista conquered a gruelling Boston Marathon with wind, rain and cold temperatures to place 3rd overall and 1st masters. After the race, many blog posts discussed how Krista was the most prepared for the elements that day. We ask Krista about preparing for the race and how patience and perseverance led her to the podium. Last, but not least, we discuss the decision for Krista to attempt the Canadian 50K record and her approach to fueling, heat training (spoiler alert: it was HOT that day!) and what it was like to share the experience with her daughter. Krista also shares how her coach, and previous podcast guest, Reid Coolseat was instrumental in preparing her for the record attempt.
To learn more about Krista, you can follow her on Instagram at: @kristaduchene
As the World starts to return to normal ways of living, we’re also starting to see the return of live racing in cities like Boston, New York, and elsewhere. So what does this mean for Canada? We invited two of the top race organizers in Canada to share their thoughts on everything from porta-potties to motivating runners in a virtual race format.
We’ll also discuss what’s required to pivot from virtual racing to in-person racing; it’s harder than we thought!
As the Event Director for Canada Running Series, Charlotte Brooks is responsible for organizing and managing events in Montreal, Edmonton and Toronto. Perhaps the most well known race is the IAAF Gold Label Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Cory Freedman is the CEO/Founder of MAX VO2 Event Management Inc. and the Toronto Women’s Run Series.
Cory is the Race Director for many races in Toronto, including the Sporting Life 10k.
We can’t wait to see our listeners and friends in Canada and the rest of the World in person at the start line of our favourite races and when that day comes, let’s remember all the hard work race organizers and volunteers are doing to make your race day special!
To learn more about Canada Running Series, you can follow them on Instagram at: @runcrs
In June, LGBTQ2S+ communities around the world come together to celebrate love, diversity and acceptance. The month of June was chosen to commemorate the riots held by members of the community against a police raid that took place at the Stonewall Inn in New York City on June 28, 1969. In addition to the parades, parties, and concerts, various cities around the world organize a Pride Run. Twenty Five years ago, Alan Belaiche started the Pride & Remembrance Run in Toronto to honour his friend who died of AIDS the year prior.
It’s not just a race, it’s a party. Yes we’re taking it serious, yes we’re running fast, yes we’re trying to win, but you can’t help but party; you can’t help but dance – Gabriel Jarquin
In this episode, we’re joined by Chris Brohman, President of the Pride and Remembrance Association, and Gabriel Jarquin, Experience Director who provide a behind-the-scenes look at the Pride and Remembrance Foundation, the run, and what the event means to the community and the beneficiaries of every dollar received through the foundation’s fundraising efforts.
To learn more about the Pride & Remembrance Run, you can follow them on Instagram at: @priderunto
In 2001, Aristotle Domingo’s mom discovered him unconscious in the hallway in their home and he was rushed to the hospital where he lay in a coma, on life support, for the next three months due to sepsis. Aristotle would beat the odds and survive, but that was not the end of his fight. For the next 15 years, Aristotle endured physical, mental, and emotional pain from multiple surgeries to his feet; a result of complications from his bout with sepsis.
I’ve already been living 15 years in this pain. How do I want to live the rest of my life? If I was given a second chance 15 years ago, what else can I do now? I was willing to try anything, so I said, ‘I think I want the leg gone.’ – Aristotle Domingo
Aristotle desperately wanted his life to change from surviving to thriving and that’s when he decided to proceed with a below the knee amputation to his left leg. Aristotle immediately started to rediscover all the activities that brought him joy in his past which, for starters, meant simply standing or walking his dog without pain. Aristotle even registered for a 5K run while in the hospital, recovering from the surgery! Two years later, Aristotle experienced issues with his right leg and discovered he had an infection in the bone due to an untreated fracture or break in the leg. Aristotle wasted no time electing to amputate his right leg as well. Aristotle is now an advocate and ambassador for the limb loss community and shares his story, and the stories of other limb loss athletes on his podcast, The AmpuTO Show. In 2017, Aristotle founded the Amputee Coalition of Toronto, a peer support group for other amputees and, three years later, he won the ParaSport Ontario 2020 Ambassador of the Year Award. Aristotle is proving losing his limbs hasn’t disabled him; instead, it enabled him to live his very best life!
To learn more about Aristotle Domingo, you can follow him on Instagram at: @amput_o
Rach McBride (they/them) is a three-time Ironman 70.3 champion, course record holder, and one of the strongest cyclists on the world circuit; very impressive for someone who got their start at the sport “later in life!” TRS Radio dubbed Rach “the most interesting [person] in triathlon” and we agree!
Generations are growing up with a completely different identify of gender and understanding that you don’t have to fit in these boxes. It’s a fluid, self expression, wonderful, everyone accepted, kind of thing and that it is about being curious about each other which I think is so powerful. – Rach McBride
We chatted with Rach about their triathlon journey, how they became known as the “Purple Tiger,” and the importance of inclusivity of non-binary athletes in sports. Rach is the first professional triathlete to come out as gender non-binary and is advocating for changes in how race directors in all sports enact changes in registration, washrooms, and prize money. Rach also shares the importance of the proper use of pronouns and offers advice to non-binary athletes and others who are struggling with their identity.
At one point, Rach recalls a race in Philadelphia who not only took the initiative to update the registration process, they also created a prize category for non-binary athletes. For more information, please check out https://www.philadelphiadistancerun.com/.
To learn more about Rach McBride, you can follow them on Instagram at: @rachelmcb
After a nice, long run, or really any run for that matter, many runners like to reward themselves with a well deserved donut or their favorite post-run drink. While some may head for the beer fridge, there really aren’t enough electrolytes in their favorite pint to help their body recover. In July 2020, three friends came together to solve that issue by launching a functional beer that is also rich in electrolytes.
I know our listeners will recognize the name Rally beer, so we’ve invited the co-founders, Alan Wood, Spencer Sgro, and Michael Mavianto share their experience launching the brand. Rally was founded with an adventurous spirit and a firm belief in being better by doing better; a mission that is not only seen in their products, but also in the work they do to promote health, community, and minimizing the impact on the environment.
To learn more about Rally Beer, you can follow them on Instagram at: @rallybeerco
The literal translation of the words libre and aire from Spanish to English are free and air; however, together they form aire libre or outdoors. For Mauricio Díaz, running started as a journey to push himself further and faster, but he soon discovered the trails and running became a medium of spirituality, healing, and connection to the outdoors. In University, Mauricio participated in an international program where he spent a year in Germany, the United States, and Southeast Asia. The experience changed Mauricio and upon his return home to Mexico City, he started rediscovering his hometown through running.
Their answer was, ‘yes you can do this because we see this as a sacrifice that you guys are going to take on and that’s going to bring good to our land and our people’
When Mauricio’s friend Manuel invited him to run with him from the city to the coast of Mexico, the two friends discovered an opportunity to change the route and instead run through the Mexican State of Sonora; home to the Seri people. The 90-kilometre trip sparked the idea for Aire Libre Running. Together with their friend, Daniel, Mauricio and Manuel curate travel experiences for runners and hikers of all levels for the purpose of immersing them in the culture where they combine running and storytelling for a truly transformative experience.
To learn more about Aire Libre Running, you can follow them on Instagram at: @airelibre.run
This week we’re joined by Sté Hetherington, who discovered he was an outstanding runner while playing rep soccer in his teens and joined the Etobicoke Track and Field Club in Grade 9, running middle distance. Sté continued running through High School, earning a scholarship to Columbia University in New York City.
It’s not super fun, going to practice, hammering out repeats, doing long runs. It’s fulfilling, we all know that and when you’re younger you get attracted to it because not a lot of people have those abilities
After graduating University, Sté participated in the Brooks Marathon Project and then moved to Southern Alabama to pursue a passion in coaching at Troy University, an NCAA Division I school. Sté coached the men’s and women’s sprint teams for several years before applying to become a head coach somewhere at another university. Sté thought he found his dream job, but after a series of unfortunate events, the job fell through and Sté found himself back in Toronto.
Just a few months later, one of Sté’s training friends from Alabama reached out to let him know he would be in Toronto four weeks later to participate in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Sté’s friend not only convinced him to participate in the race, he convinced him to pursue a Guiness World Record wearing a costume, the first time these records were introduced.
Sté shares his experience chasing not one, but two Guinness World Records and his approach to maintaining a successful coaching business. Sté’s journey was adventurous to say the least and we’re glad he shared it with us!
To learn more about Sté, you can follow him on Instagram at: @coachstedotcom